Alfa Romeo is on the Verge of Death as Big Models Have Been Nixed
Wil Alfa Romeo Be Discontinued in the U.S once again?by Robert Moore, on
Alfa Romeo announced back in June of 2018 that it would revive the 8C and GTV with its product roadmap through 2022, but since then, things have certainly changed, Alfa’s sales have been rather sad at best, and those two models have been canceled altogether. The compact Tonale Crossover is still on the docket as is the larger electric SUV – big surprise there – but there’s more to this. A new, updated roadmap for the company for 2019-2022 has been released, and it’s not looking good at all. Where the company originally planned 7 models and refreshes, there are now just four – two of which are the mid-cycle refreshes for the Stelvio and Giulia, the only two models keeping the company alive at the moment.
Why is Alfa Romeo Cancelling the 8c and GTV?
Automobile Magazine reports that, during this week’s earnings teleconference, FCA CEO, Mike Manley, said that Alfa Romeo was going to “see its wings clipped” and that “in the near term, the new portfolio for the brand is significantly scaled back with a corresponding reduction in capital spending.”
FCA claims that Alfa Romeo’s portfolio is being “rationalized” to focus on current market strengths, reduced global reach, and overlap with other group brands.
So, in other words, the company is performing poorly, and it’s not in a position to continue producing certain vehicles, let alone spend R&D funds on something that isn’t an SUV.
When you look at these two roadmaps, and how different they really are, it’s really breathtaking in a canceled way. First off, you can tell the enthusiasm is gone when it comes to the new roadmap. Just look how bland and sad it is. Secondly, what was going to be a huge lineup for the Italian brand is now reduced to just three current models, two facelifts for the Stelvio and Giulia, and the B and C SUV’s, one of which is a full size electric model and the other is the compact Tonale. Notice how the Giulietta isn’t even on the list here? That’s because it’s going to be shelved just like the MiTo. It could eventually become a subcompact SUV of sorts but even then, the chances are minimal at best.
So, what would have been 7 models and a 71-percent market share has become just four models and some prayer that those new SUVs will take off while the Giulia and Stelvio continue to bring in some kind of sales numbers.
It’s a sad day for Alfa Romeo indeed.
Alfa Romeo Sales Figures are sad…. Very sad.
Alfa Romeo left the U.S. market in the mid-1990s where sales had plummeted below the 5000-per-year threshold. It came back to the U.S. market in 2014, but sales haven’t been that great either. In 2017, it sold just 12,031 models, while 2019 earned it an impressive-for-its-history 23,800 models sold. Sales for the first half of the year were down considerably in 2019 with each month falling short of the year before. September saw a big improvement with 4,310 models moved, but the company has a lot of work to do if it will even come close to 2018’s sales numbers.
From January 2019 through June of 2019 it only sold 9,037 vehicles, some 3,228 less than it had buy the end of June 2018.
That’s a big deficit for a company that’s supposed to be on a come-up.
Moving over to European figures paints a similar story but even worse. The brand sold 83,438 models in 2018 (down 3,367 from 2017) but has performed impressively bad through august of 2019. Through August, the brand as moved 37,685 models. That’s not bad compared to the U.S., but when you compare it to what it had sold through August of 2018, it’s downright scary, with the company already holding money for 67,810. That means Alfa Romeo’s sales in Europe are 30,125 models shy as of August 2019 compared to the same time in 2018 – that’s a drop in sales of about 44.5-percent. No wonder FCA wants to clip its wings – the company is practically knocking on death’s door.
Sorry to say it, folks, but it doesn’t look like we’ll be seeing the 8C or GTV coming back to life anytime soon.
After all, this conference was held on the same day that PSA and FCA announced their merger to become the Romeo’s automaker in the world. As such, there should be plenty of cheddar going around to help out brands that deserve it. Unfortunately, Alfa Romeo is starting to look like it’s just too much trouble, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the company sold off or discontinued altogether sometime in the next decade. Maybe those new SUVs, one of which is the Tonale, will help, but if they fail or the Stelvio and Giulietta duo can’t continue to stand on their own two feet, something will certainly be done about it as, at some point, it will begin hemorrhaging more money than any heritage or history can make up for.
Note: Sales figures in the charts above sourced from Carsalesbase.com